MICHIGAN, USA — The Michigan State Police released preliminary data on 2020 traffic fatalities Wednesday that found traffic deaths peaked above 1,000 for the first time in three years.
In 2020, there were 1,083 traffic fatalities, which is a 10% increase from 985 fatalities in 2019. MSP said this is the most traffic fatalities in the state since 2007, when 1,084 deaths were reported.
According to MSP, the number of injuries, crashes and serious injuries declined in 2020 even though fatalities increased. Here is a breakdown, as provided by MSP:
- Injuries: 74,963 in 2019 to 60,896 in 2020, down 19%
- Crashes: 314,377 in 2019 to 245,432 in 2020, down 22%
- Suspected serious injuries: 5,629 in 2019 to 5,433 in 2020, down 3%
“Even though there was a dramatic drop in traffic crashes and injuries during 2020, there was an unfortunate surge in fatalities,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “The OHSP will be coordinating high-visibility enforcement campaigns this summer focusing on impaired driving and seat belt use to reverse the trends we are seeing.”
MSP said alcohol-involved fatalities represent 30% of traffic deaths last year, with 326 total alcohol-involved fatalities in 2020. That is an 11% increase from 2019.
Below is a list of traffic fatalities in other areas, as provided by MSP:
- Bicycle fatalities increased from 21 for three consecutive years to 38 in 2020, up 81%
- Motorcyclist fatalities increased from 122 in 2019 to 152 in 2020, up 25%
- Pedestrian fatalities increased from 149 in 2019 to 175 in 2020, up 17%
- Commercial motor vehicle-involved fatalities decreased from 106 in 2019 to 78 in 2020, down 26%
- Deer-involved fatalities decreased from 12 in 2019 to 5 in 2020, down 58%
- School bus-involved fatalities decreased from 6 in 2019 to zero in 2020, down 100%
- Train-involved fatalities decreased from 7 in 2019 to zero in 2020, down 100%
Prince said that other states are also seeing a reduction in traffic crashes but a jump in fatalities. He said this could indicate a rise in crash severity, which could indicate reductions in seat belt use, increases in speed and increases in impairment. However, Prince said further analysis is required.
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